'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Day 19. Sap!

After a night in the jungle that I would rather not talk about, I have discovered what I think may be the perfect solution to my problem!  After wandering around all day yesterday, making cuts in every tree trunk I came across, it was barely two hours today when I struck it lucky and thin white sap immediately began to ooze out of one, which I am almost certain is a rubber tree, judging also by its leaf shape.  I have bored a small hole and stuck in a sliced hollow reed-stem, which seems to be working to direct the dripping liquid into my half-coconut shell.  I am extremely hopeful that this will prove to be rubber latex.
I have sacrificed one of my lavalavas and torn it into strips to mark the path back to this tree.  Hopefully by tomorrow I will have enough to repair my dugout.   It's good to be back at the beach tonight.  The weather is unsettled and windy but warm.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Day 18. A Day and Night in the Jungle

I decided to go into the jungle today (even though I am rather nervous of the wildlife there) to see if I can find a) some fibrous, pliable bark or something, that I can use as a patch for the damaged dugout I found. and b) some sticky sap or latex or something that will serve as a glue to hold the patch in place.  It's been a fruitless search, although I have found a taro plant, however.  But I misjudged the time and suddenly night has fallen and I will have to spend the night in here.  I am not looking forward to this.  

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Day 17. Problem-solving

Hello again world!  After extensive searching I have found a website that will host words on this blog.  Thank goodness!
I have been experimenting with various ideas today, hoping that one will work to patch the hole in the bottom of the log-canoe I found.  Nothing has worked more than 10 minutes yet - just about the amount of time to get me literally in deep water, if I was to head out to sea!  But, there's nothing else to do on this island, and I am determined and patient!  Perhaps I will have a good idea tomorrow.  

Friday, 13 April 2012

Katherine's Spiced Fruit Muffins

Bowing to public pressure, here is my world-famous-in-my-garden muffin recipe.
It's really easy, and you can use whatever fruit you have. I experiment with mixtures, for example banana with apricot yoghurt. Rhubarb is nice too. If there's nothing else, even apple and chopped dates will get favourable comments.

Mix together: 1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda (soda bic)
Heat together 1 cup lightly stewed diced fruit and 50 gm butter, just enough to melt the butter.
Add 1 egg and mix.
Add 2/3 cup yoghurt and mix again.
Fold wet into dry ingredients. Mixture will start to rise immediately. Don't over-mix or the muffins will be rubbery.
Quickly put spoonfuls into a greased muffin tin and bake at 200ºC for 10 - 15 minutes or until golden.

Makes 9 large or 12 small muffins.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary enjoy a cup of tea when they are unexpectedly visited by the third to reach the summit.

The Little-Known Fact of the Third to reach the Summit of Everest.

Everyone knows the storilly
Of brave Sherpa Tenzing
And laconic Edmund Hillary
And their remarkable ascending.

Many people remember
That Hillary took of Norgay
A photograph of splendour
To mark their little foray.

Hillary left a cross there
Up on the windswept top
And maybe he said a prayer
On their fifteen minute stop.

And it's true, tho' you may not know
That Norgay left something too
Buried slightly in the snow
Before he too, withdrew.

One glossy chocolate
As an offering to ... what?
Perhaps t'was past its use-by-date
Or, then again, perhaps not.

Carefully they went back down
The way they'd clambered up.
And before too long these two renown
Had hot soup in a cup.

But less commonly known
Is the third to top the bastard.
For the third ascent was lone,
So verily, better mastered.

For Sherpas often privately speak
Of a creature very hefty
Who'd climb the highest mountain peak
For a single chocolate: Yeti.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

An unexpected visit from Trite planiceps

While I work away at my Big Painting I periodically take a swig of water.
Luckily one day last week I noticed this handsome jumping spider sitting on the rim of my glass in time. He was regarding me intently with his wonderful jet-black eyes. Perhaps he thought some other colour would have been better instead of the one I'd chosen for my illustrated 'O'.

After a good explore around my water bottle and paint-tubes, he obviously decided the opportunities for prey were low, and headed off to investigate the curtains.

Later when the PR photographer came to do the shots for the newspaper article (just thought I'd slip that in there), she was unaware of my earlier visitor. I didn't mention it. I know not everyone enjoys spiders as much as I do.

This is how I finished the 'O'. Do you like it? There's a Godwit trapped in there, and some kelp decorating the side. I hope the gold frame is not too OTT.